PHOENIX star Calvin Abueva has been reinstated in time for the team’s match against NLEX today in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Sports Arena in Angeles City.
That should come as very welcome news for the Fuel Masters, who are gunning for a second straight win that would jack their record to 4-2 and keep them in fourth spot.
Phoenix has already made relatively big strides under Topex Robinson, named as interim head coach of the team only last month, and under the collective efforts by his players led by Matthew Wright.
Abueva’s entry is sure to be a big boost for the other Fuel Masters, including Jason Perkins, Justin Chua, RJ Jazul, RR Garcia and Jorey Napoles.
NLEX could only hope Abueva, who has been practicing with his teammates even before the bubble started Oct. 11, is not yet in game-shape.
The Road Warriors have been struggling, failing to follow up their breakthrough win over undermanned NorthPort last Wednesday with a loss to Meralco two days later.
That latest defeat put NLEX dangerously close to being included among the four teams cut following the 11-game eliminations.
But coach Yeng Guiao has been in similar tight situations before and has the tools to not only snap his team out of its doldrums and muster a sustain charge.
NLEX also has certified on-court leaders in Kiefer Ravena and JR Quinahan, complemented by the likes of Kevin Alas, Anthony Semerad, Raul Soyud and Mike Miranda.